Frequently Asked Questions
who will be at my event? I attend EVERY wedding. Other members of your team are confirmed approximately 90 days prior to the event unless requested at booking.
are you and your equipment inconspicuous? what do you wear? My team are experts at being unobtrusive, and have the experience to know where the best angles are. Our standard attire is all black and professional. If you require a formal look or a tuxedo, please ask in advance.
is your equipment professional and up to date? I pride myself on having great equipment. The cameras are compact and professional HD quality. The footage is artistically edited in an all Mac-based studio using Final Cut Pro.
do you have back-ups in case of equipment malfunctions? do you have insurance? Yes, by using multiple cameras simultaneously, traditional back-ups do not apply. I also have complete insurance coverage and will be happy to supply your venue with a certificate of insurance.
what type of lighting do you use? I prefer to use no additional lighting and always recommend the use of professional lighting to enhance the overall ambiance as well as the photography and video. Lighting is one of the most under-valued aspects of an event. Because of the lower lighting popular today, I sometimes opt for a small LED on-camera light. This is a better quality of light, not MORE light. I would be happy to recommend a trusted lighting partner that I have worked with for over 10 years.
who is editing my event? My staff edits all of our work. I perform a final master oversight. We do not ship your edits out, or employ unschooled interns or unpaid students to complete your film.
can we select the music in our film? Absolutely. You may choose all of the music, but most clients leave this up to me, or simply suggest styles or tracks. All music licensing and rights are your responsibility. I can recommend plenty of pre-cleared music.
can we add special photos, slides or home video? I think the addition of photos and home movies can add to the personalization of the day where appropriate. Additional charges may apply.
what is the design session? A complimentary meeting held prior to your event, when we finalize all of the details, timeline, and directions. Sessions last about 30 - 60mins depending on the sophistication of your plans/event.
when do I receive my final edited product? I try to deliver your final video as soon as possible, in chronological order, around 30-60 days. Production time can range past 4 months due to client schedules and our seasonal workflow. Please inquire before booking if you have a specific delivery time in mind.
do I see the video before it is finished? Yes. Our exclusive online preview process is an opportunity to provide a final approval/review before we create your final movie. This is a unique and important part of my personal service.
can I make changes or re-edit? Yes. A production found to have glitches (technical problems/misspellings) or items reasonably objectionable to client, will be fixed for free. Subjective changes or any other re-editing for any other reason is billed at a rate of $100/hr. Of course, this is not the time for a creative review, new music or editing style suggestions.
am I required to provide a meal? Please. Since we will be working hard and continuously throughout the day, we appreciate a hot, prepared meal. It goes without saying that a satisfied videographer works better than a starving one. It is critical to instruct your caterer/planner to serve these meals at the same time as your guests are enjoying their main course. This will allow us time to eat and get back to work WITHOUT missing any important moments.
will you do interviews? My experiences have found “at the table” type interviews to be disturbing to the overall ambiance of your event, not to mention extremely irritating to your guests. An additional videographer should be added as a solution to record the thoughts and sentiments of your friends and family during an appropriate time.
do I receive everything you document or just the edited film? Besides the edited film every image and sound bite we record is included on an HD Archive, which is a new external, portable, computer hard drive, since the data usually exceeds 100GB. I would place this in a safe deposit box. Note; we do not keep your data or footage indefinitely, usually ≤5 years.
do you back-up/safeguard my precious memories? can I buy extra copies later? Yes. A duplicate of your edited media and products are also archived (at an off-site location) for ≤5 years. There is a cost to the retrieval, if needed.
what about options? I have a large list of optional coverage and creative vignettes to choose from. Many clients like to customize and personalize their event. Please ask, we love to think outside the box!
I have a large wedding/guest count, how many cinematographers do I need? A larger bridal party or guest count may pose no impact on coverage of your event. However, I strongly recommend additional personnel for larger venues, longer travel, tight timelines, or extremely sophisticated, high-profile events.
my house of worship has restrictions, can you help me? We are professionals and respect all faiths, traditions, and understand proper decorum and the sanctity of a worship service. Please remind them of the importance of the video memory to you. We will try to open communications with your house of worship/clergy, although it has been my experience that YOU receive more flexibility as the paying client. Remember, no one can guarantee any type of specific angle or coverage if restrictions are placed on them.
I like very dark, romantic ceremonies/receptions, is this a problem? I recognize the trend for dimmer and/or candlelit ambiance. Please understand that ALL cameras need REASONABLE lighting to achieve a decent picture. I will work with you to achieve a fair balance. Professional lighting (pin spots, uplighting, dance floor wash, etc) should be used to help enhance the overall ambiance of the event and increase photo/video capability when extremely low light levels are desired. These variables should be discussed at time of booking.
what about presentations and the related audio and video playback equipment? I usually require that you utilize my services to present work that I have created, if only to ensure perfect playback and expected quality. My quality and pricing is usually very competitive and I can guarantee the performance.
do you work with or suggest wedding planners? A great wedding planner can be invaluable to you and a great asset to us. They help convey your dreams, needs, and wishes throughout the entire process. A great planner fully coordinates the entire event and makes our job easier by believing in your team, trusting them to do what they do best, and giving them the time to do that. Having a planner can save you a lot of time and stress.
what is high-definition? High-Definition, “High-Def”, (HD) is a high-resolution format designed to get amazing images into consumers homes. HD typically promises twice the sharpness, pixel count, and color gamut of older standard definition television. All HD is widescreen. We acquire all events in high definition.
what is 24p? The number 24 refers to the cinematic frame-rate employed by almost 100% of all movies ever made. The p stands for “progressive” the line scanning technique for projection, plasma, and LCD panels. The image is presented linearly or progressively, (scan lines drawn 1-2-3-4-5-6), not interlaced (today’s legacy NTSC TV ie; 1-3-5-7, then 2-4-6-8). All computers/LCD/plasma use progressive display technology. The 24 fps frame-rate has a specific filmic look, and does not resemble standard TV broadcasts or regular home video.
how do I watch the final film? We deliver the footage on a beautiful high-res widescreen DVD, playable on current dvd players or blu-ray discs, which are only viewable using a blu-ray player. We also provide the full HD files on the HD Archive.
how long do these items (dvds/blu-ray/hdds) last? The lifespan of magnetic/optical media varies depending on the brand and the storage conditions. Discs are sensitive to heat, light and moisture, and do degrade over time. Unlike most other mediums, they can easily be duplicated without any loss of quality. It is advisable to make/place an extra copy to be stored at a separate location, and to re-copy them at least every 3 to 5 years. All magnetic/optical media are subject to these parameters, therefore, no studio can guarantee the lifespan of these type of materials.
what is the retainer fee? what is the payment policy and schedule? All dates are reserved on a first-come, first served basis. We prefer to receive 50% of the total coverage as a non-refundable retainer. ($2000 minium). A fully executed contract is required to secure our services for as well. The remaining balance is due no later than 30 days prior to the event. We accept most major credit cards, checks, and cash. We cannot accept terms with any payments due after an event.
what is your cancellation policy? If you need to cancel our services, we will hold the retainer and any funds collected. If you cancel within 180 days of the event, the total fee will be due. If we re-book the date, a refund or credit may be given on a case-by-case basis.
what locations are covered on the day? Any location is covered, as long as we are “on the clock.” Quoted rates are for continuous coverage only.
what about travel fees? For events ≥60 miles from my studio, I may charge a travel fee of $2/mile (roundtrip) which covers my expenses/fuel and travel time. Past 120 miles, lodging and other per diem may be considered. I have nationwide and international travel experience, so I plan on a case-by-case basis. Parking, loading, and permits are also the client’s responsibility.
what happens if you become ill or cannot work my event? If there is a life-threatening emergency preventing the named videographer from working your event, we will find you a suitable replacement from one of our trained associates or local peers. I will never leave you stranded without coverage.
why do you not have packages? I feel you are primarily hiring me for my creativity and experience. By charging this way, I can focus on my job, not on post-sale opportunities. Packages usually make you pay for items you may not want or need. I would rather do my best work for every client, so I only charge you for the time that I dedicate to your event. Other studios may charge by random levels of quality.
why do you charge more/less than studio xyz? will you match their price? I charge what I believe my talent and time is worth and truthfully have no idea why other studios charge what they do. Due to the artistic nature of what we do, there isn’t an objective way to compare different pricing or packages, it usually is an apples-to-oranges comparison.
how many hours do I need? I would plan on an 7 hour minimum, but strongly suggest having me begin near the beginning of the day’s activities to create an enjoyable, watchable storyline with the most emotional value. You do not need to have me cover the entire event. It is your day. A great solution is to book the date minimally and then add coverage, “on demand.”
what about additional hours? Additional hours are charged at an hourly fee and includes footage, batteries, and editing time. You may add coverage at any time (you may not reduce coverage, however).
what about sales tax? what about shipping? The State of Pennsylvania requires that we collect and remit sales tax. All clients must pay reasonable shipping/handling costs, or pick up the finished dvds at our office, during regular business hours.
what about discounts or off-season or holiday dates? Honestly, my costs are no less for off-season dates or times, so I do not have a special “off-peak” rate. On the other hand, most holidays do cost me significantly more in labor like most other businesses, so expect to see that reflected in my quote.
what about gratuity? If you feel my team efforts and attitude warrant a tip, please do. Gratuity for a job well done is appreciated.
what is really different about your studio? The difference is I care. After spending enormous amounts of time; planning, dreaming, and making a financial investment into an event, I know you want to enjoy the day. I would be glad to help you with anything you need; referrals, general planning, ideas, or just someone to listen. I know that this can be a fun, but sometimes stressful time.
how early do I need to book? The most popular dates go quickly, many a year or two out (once I booked 3+ years out). The most popular date always seems to be the one YOU need. Plan accordingly.
can you “hold” my date? I do allow you to reserve a date with a non-refundable retainer, and then take up to 30 days to decide your exact coverage/hours.
how do I get started? Give me a call and I will be happy to mail, fax, or email you a contract today so you can be sure to secure your date.